Over the course of the next few weeks, we will be taking a look at each position group and giving our way-too-early depth chart projections. Yesterday, we began with the quarterbacks, and today, we move onto the running backs.
Starter - Christian McCaffrey
After missing 13 games a year ago, Christian McCaffrey is back and feeling better than ever. The Panthers did the right thing by not rushing him back and also by shutting him down at the end of the season which allowed his body to get the rest it needed to be able to fully recover. It's still a bit of an unknown as to what we can expect from McCaffrey in Joe Brady's offense since we've seen such a small sample size but I do believe he will carry the majority of the workload, given that he is healthy.
Backup - Chuba Hubbard
The rookie out of Oklahoma State is going to be the Panthers' RB2. Just two years ago, he put up videogame-like numbers as he rushed for 2,094 yards and 21 touchdowns. He is a physical running back that seeks contact and does a pretty good job of gaining yards after contact. He isn't quite on the level of Mike Davis just yet but he will be the Panthers' ground and pound back which will be a change of pace from the elusive and dynamic McCaffrey.
3rd string - Trenton Cannon OR Reggie Bonnafon
Cannon was primarily used on special teams in 2020 as a kick returner. He returned 10 kicks for 298 yards, including a 98-yard kick return against Tampa Bay that nearly went for a touchdown.
Reggie Bonnafon has also had limited reps at running back but did have some impressive runs last season which pleased head coach Matt Rhule. Bonnafon toted the ball 12 times for 69 yards. With McCaffrey and Hubbard eating up the bulk of the workload, carries will be scarce for these two.
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